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Rethinking East-Central Europe: family systems and co-residence in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Volume 1: Contexts and analyses – Volume 2: Data quality assessments, documentation, and bibliography

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Mikołaj Szołtysek

This book reconstructs fundamental aspects of family organization across historical Poland-Lithuania, one of the largest political entities in early modern Europe. Using a plethora of quantitative measurements and demographic microsimulation, the author captures and elucidates the complex patterns of leaving home and life-cycle service, marriage and household formation, along with domestic group structures and living arrangements among different subpopulations of Poland-Lithuania, highlighting a variety of ways in which these patterns were nested in their respective local and regional contexts. By showing that at the end of the 18 th century at least three distinct family systems existed in the Polish-Lithuanian territories, Szołtysek challenges a number of orthodoxies in the ‘master narratives’ on the European geography of family forms of F. Le Play, J. Hajnal, P. Laslett, and their followers. Volume two of the book contains an extensive bibliography along with a thorough archival documentation of the census-like microdata used in the book, and provides detailed information on their quality and further technicalities pertaining to data analysis.
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7. Life-cycle service

Extract

← 318 | 319 →

7.  Life-cycle service

‘Wanton children, of toiling the land capable, their parents desert, so as to accommodate themselves and serve at someone else’s household, thus acting to the detriment both of their parents and themselves as well’ [comment from the Book of Law of the Puck Starosty]1

‘Наняўся, як прадаўся’ (Hiring yourself, you are selling yourself) [Belarusian proverb]2

7.1  Introduction

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